With a total of over 40 million passengers, Orlando International airport was the busiest airport in Florida in 2022, closely followed by Miami International airport. With this huge influx of passengers on a daily basis, it is no wonder that the number of individuals caught carrying a firearm at Orlando airport is substantial.
In 2022, more guns were caught at security checkpoints at Orlando International airport than at any other airport in Florida. These stops at security checkpoints led to many Floridians and visitors receiving criminal charges from state law enforcement. Usually, these incidents have no criminal intent behind them, as passengers often forget their gun is inside their carry-on bags or are not aware of the gun restrictions in airports. However, this lack of knowledge does not negate the charges that passengers face.
Although Florida is viewed as a relatively gun-friendly state, the same does not apply to Florida airports. Carrying a gun and attempting to pass through security checkpoints with a firearm in Florida can result in a gun possession at an airport charge, fines, and possible jail time.
The criminal defense attorneys at The Law Place empathize with individuals facing airport gun possession charges. We understand that in the majority of cases, an individual made an innocent mistake that has left them facing the possibility of a criminal conviction. We know how stressful this time can be, and if we represent you, your attorney will be in your corner throughout the process.
The Law Place’s attorneys are aggressive and highly skilled advocates for our clients. We will always fight passionately on your behalf against your charges. Contact The Law Place today to book a free consultation to discover how you can benefit from our representation. Call our team at any point on our 24/7 phone line at (941)-444-4444.
Penalties for Gun Possession at Orlando Airport
Florida Statute 790.06 governs the possession and carrying of concealed weapons and firearms in Florida.
Section 790.06 (12)(a) outlines specific restrictions for locations and situations whereby carrying a concealed firearm is prohibited. This includes schools, professional athletic events, courthouses, and alcohol-licensed establishments. Crucially, these restrictions also include the inside of the passenger terminal and the sterile area of any airport. These laws don’t just apply to Orlando airport, but all airports across Florida, including Tampa International airport, Jacksonville International airport, and Pete Clearwater International airport.
If you arrive at an airport and are carrying your gun, there are several routes you can take to avoid a criminal charge. You do not commit a criminal offense until you enter the passenger terminal with your weapon. If you have not yet entered the airport, you can legally leave your firearm in your vehicle as Florida law does not prohibit firearms in airport parking lots or other surrounding areas, provided that you are otherwise legally permitted to carry a gun.
Similarly, if you intend to travel with your gun, this must be in your checked baggage and in a locked hard-sided container that is not easily openable. You should declare any firearms in your checked luggage to the airline when you check in for your flight.
If you are found at an airport with a firearm in your possession or in your carry-on luggage, often, it will be discovered at a TSA security checkpoint. Local law enforcement may arrest you at the scene or provide you with a written arrest or notice to appear.
For a free legal consultation with a gun possession lawyer serving Orlando, call 941-444-4444
If an individual is caught attempting to pass through a federal security checkpoint with a firearm, the criminal charge they could receive can vary from misdemeanor to felony.
If found in possession of a gun in an airport, an individual may receive a second-degree misdemeanor charge, which carries potential penalties of a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. If you are in possession of a concealed weapon other than a gun, you could be charged with a first-degree felony, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The stakes of your offense increase substantially if you do not have a valid concealed carry permit to possess a concealed weapon. Florida recognizes concealed weapons permits from many states, but not all. If you either do not have a concealed weapon permit or your permit is not recognized in the state, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. If convicted, you face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. As a convicted felon, you can also lose your constitutional right to carry a firearm permanently.
It is important to remember that these charges can apply to both loaded and unloaded firearms and potentially silencers, receivers, and mufflers. A gun could also be considered loaded if the ammunition is readily accessible, as opposed to actually loaded in the firearm.
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The main civil penalty an individual could face for possessing a gun in an airport is a fine from the transportation security administration (TSA). These civil sanctions are considerable amounts of money, even at the lower end of possible fines, and they can be a substantial financial blow to anyone that receives them.
Possession of an unloaded firearm in an airport carries a recommended fine of approximately $1,500 – £5,000, increasing to $3,000 – $10,500 if the gun is loaded. These fines are often imposed on top of the fines from a criminal charge.
Fines are likely to increase if an individual has a history of recurrent offenses involving firearms in airports or if they have more than one gun on their person. The maximum TSA-imposed fine that you are at risk of receiving for possession of a firearm in an airport is nearly $15,000 for a single offense.
In addition to loaded and unloaded firearms, silencers, and other equipment, individuals can also face civil sanctions and fines from TSA agents for carrying BB, compressed air, and pellet guns in an airport. Fines for the possession of such weapons can range from $390 – $2,250.
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Defend Yourself Against Orlando Airport Gun Possession Charges: Speak to an Attorney At The Law Place Today!
Gun possession at Orlando airport can leave you facing severe charges and could even carry the potential of becoming a convicted felon. To avoid fines, jail time, and the permanent implications of a criminal record, you will need a skilled defense to fight your charges.
The gun possession defense lawyers in The Law Place team have helped hundreds of clients who have been charged with gun possession in any of Florida’s airports. We are well versed in what it takes to build a successful defense against these charges, including arguments such as your lack of knowledge that you were in possession of a firearm at the time of the offense. In most cases, these offenses are committed with no criminal intent. Although not guaranteed, with skilled legal representation, it can be possible to avoid a conviction or secure lesser penalties.
If you have had your firearm confiscated at a TSA security checkpoint and are facing criminal charges, speak to an attorney as soon as possible after the incident. Getting a head start on your case and developing your defense strategy early in the process is always beneficial for improving preparedness and the likelihood of a successful outcome.
The Law Place’s free consultation comes with no hidden fees or obligations to continue with representation. Take this risk-free first step in your defense by speaking with a reputable attorney about your case.
Contact The Law Place at (941)-444-4444 or online to book your free consultation and case evaluation.
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